Traditionally, interior design takes into consideration such elements as form, balance, color, texture and shape, but at Golden Oak in the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla., the use of a “Hidden Mickey” feature makes that shortlist. “It’s kind of an unspoken element across the board in this community,” interior designer Jessica Lee says. She and her associate, interior designer Molly Walker, were “tasked” with hiding the “Hidden Mickeys” inside the home. The pair worked together closely with builder Rial Jones to create a fantastic 9,154-square-foot residence that conveys an overall sense of sophistication and fun that is evident right from the start.
The island colonial-style home is named “Ohana,” which means “family home” in Hawaiian. “We thought it would be appropriate for the house to have an island style that was tropical and fun,” Jones says. “We want to remind people that they are in a magical place at Golden Oak,” interior designer Marc Thee says. “Between the home’s amenities and living the dream, it really does become a way of life when you reside here.”
The home’s front facade features gray-blue shutters, cream-color coral stone accents, and a traditional roof structure with wide overhangs. Inside, a light contemporary style creates a casual ambiance. “We decided to take the decor in more of an organic direction,” Lee says. “We kept the colors neutral, but we added deep rust-red touches in the living room and pops of blue-green hues in the family room.”
The sophisticated living room is fashioned with a modular sofa clad in taupe linen, and a pewter, linen-skirted chair centered by a freeform cocktail table designed with a charred wood top and black-iron base. Layers of texture add pizazz, from Bernhardt’s leather hide-on-hair bench to decorative accent pillows in lush velvet and sateen to draperies in woven sheers. The “sea-urchin” Coup D’etat chandelier is whimsical and unexpected. “It’s actually comprised of strands of rattan with lights inset,” Lee says.
A unique wrap-around stairway in the foyer integrates a glass-enclosed custom wine room. The stairway enfolds a floor-to-ceiling coral stone wall set behind wine bottles and reveals a peek-a-boo opening as it ascends to the second floor.
In the dining room, a linear, dark-oak dining table contrasts with taupe-and-silver linen-clad host chairs, and curvy side chairs in velvet taupe marbled with silver and lavender. “All the elements came together. It was a perfect storm to create such a lovely room,” Lee says. The custom light cove offers a nod to the sea. Integrated into the wall and ceiling, it’s set against a stained oak plank interrupted by an oak ledge and a recess lined with a crushed-shell mosaic panel. Palecek’s starburst mirror offers a touch of island whimsy in a frame fabricated from coconut shells. “Being on a Disney property, we did have a little bit of a license to be playful,” Lee says.
The relaxed family room offers tranquil views of the patio and pool. “We wanted to create a room where you could put your feet up, unwind and enjoy the day,” Walker says. A sofa clad in cream-colored linen and a hair-on-hide leather ottoman add casual elegance accented with pillows that add pop in a peacock blue-green hue.
The kitchen and breakfast area offer an intriguing mix of elements. A rustic breakfast table is topped with tin framed in reclaimed wood. Edged with a light-gray custom banquette and side chairs upholstered in pewter-toned leather with nail-head trim, the space is perfect for relaxed family dining. A bold, Calacatta Paloda marble accent wall in the kitchen complements clean-lined, rift-cut oak custom cabinetry. Around the corner in a desk nook, wood shelving displays the owners’ tableware against a wall of shimmery glass mosaic tile in peacock blue, turquoise and pearl hues. A cork Hidden Mickey displays Disney momentos on a Cristallo quartzite backsplash.
Outdoors, a cozy patio outfitted with a fireplace is flanked by large planters in a turquoise hue atop an expanse of shell reef coral stone decking. The nearby pool sparkles in the evening and features a spa with a dramatic rain curtain.
In the front courtyard, a second fireplace set within a coral stone wall is adorned above with a sculptural wedge of driftwood. Woven armchairs offer comfortable seating for conversation hearthside, where a custom wire-grid trellis reveals another Hidden Mickey. Poured concrete slabs offset with turf resemble flagstone pavers.
“Each time I walk into this house there is a happiness that is constant and is truly what the community stands for,” Thee says. “We wanted to design a home to remind people that they are on vacation every morning when they wake.”